TMT: foreign firms in Singapore
The 'knowledgeable' team at CMS has 'a very good understanding of commercial arrangements', providing 'insightful advice that is commercially oriented'. The practice has gained new mandates from non-technology companies undergoing a digital transformation, notably in the areas of fintech, proptech and healthtech, as well as retaining a strong list of local and multinational and local clients such as SMRT Corporation and BBC Worldwide. Practice head Matt Pollins advises on the full spectrum of commercial, transactional, regulatory, intellectual property and public policy matters. Jeremy Tan and associate Elaina Foo 'know the the market very well', with Tan noted for his niche regulatory expertise in cybersecurity and cloud computing.
‘The team is very knowledgeable about the IT sector and is always prepared to put the client first. Their updates and advice are very insightful and commercially oriented.’
‘Jeremy Tan and Elaina Foo has a very good experience and knowledge of the industry. They know the standard practice in the market very well and can coordinate with other local counsel if we need advice from various jurisdictions.’
‘CMS has a small team but they deliver the work in an efficient manner and their work products are excellent. They have a very good understanding about the commercial arrangement’.
‘Matt Pollins and Elaina Foo understand the clients’ business fully and are able to provide extremely relevant advice to clients without any guidance.’
- Advised Comcast on media regulatory issues across Asia arising from its $65bn bid for 21st Century Fox.
- Advised Les Mills on the Asia Pacific roll out of its ‘Les Mills On Demand’ subscription OTT streaming service.
- Advised Microsoft on commercial, policy and regulatory matters across the Asia-Pacific region, including data protection law across several jurisdictions, cloud computing strategy, and artificial intelligence-powered solutions including an AI-powered retinal imaging software.
- Advising Holland & Barrett on its direct entry into and re-launch in five markets across South-East Asia.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Singapore-based Mark Robinson heads the firm's technology, media and telecoms team in Asia; he assists multinational and local clients with corporate transactions and innovative and strategic commercial arrangements, often with an international angle, as well as advising on regulatory, data and intellectual property matters. Counsel Kathryn Thornton specialises in private M&A and outsourcing, while senior associate Harry Evans has extensive experience in advising major financial and consumer goods companies on the IT and intellectual aspects of corporate transactions and commercial agreements, including IP licensing and software developments. Senior associate Peggy Chow focuses on data protection laws and cybersecurity laws in Asia.
‘Herbert Smith Freehills has a strong technology legal practice with lawyers able to support this area from Singapore, UK, Hong Kong and Australia. They have particular expertise in negotiating technology procurement, cloud and outsourcing contract matters.’
‘The team provides a seamless service and easy access to its various areas of expertise. Everyone from the senior partners down to the associates are capable but also engaging and willing to share knowledge. ‘
‘Mark Robinson provides an excellent service.‘
Mitsui & Co
- Advised JD.Com, along with Singapore’s Provident Capital Partners, as joint lead investors, alongside Google, Tencent and Mitsubishi Corporation on various matters in connection to the $2bn Series F investment funding round in Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first unicorn company that specialises in ride-hailing and logistics.
- Assisted Taobao China Holdings, an Alibaba Group entity and a private investment group, as investors in the latest fundraising round of Indonesian-based e-commerce company Tokopedia, which raised over $1.1bn.
- Advised Axiata Group Bhd on its $404m sale of its 28.7% stake in Singapore’s third largest mobile operator, M1 Limited, in the context of a voluntary takeover by a consortium formed by Keppel and Singapore Press Holdings.
- Advised Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) in its investment into Bharti Airtel’s restructured African business, comprising of mobile operators in 14 African jurisdictions.
Norton Rose Fulbright's integrated team is best known for its full-service offering in fintech, initial coin offerings and blockchain; privacy and data protection; artificial intelligence and startups. Fintech specialist Stella Cramer leads the group; she has a focus on digital transformation programmes, technology and commercial transactions, outsourcings and related regulatory issues. Craig Loveless, Stephen Woods and counsel David Olds are the other key figures.
- Advising AFIN, supported by the IFC and World Bank, the Asean Banking Association and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the establishment of a technology sandbox platform to be hosted in Singapore.
- Advised DNV GL on its acquisition of a minority stake in leading public blockchain service provider VeChain and the development of its associated blockchain experience and capabilities.
Linklaters is lauded for its 'in-depth knowledge of the TMT space', 'very responsive and diligent team' and 'outstanding client support'. The full-service practice is lead by Adrian Fisher and Niranjan Arasaratnam who have combined expertise in technology and commercial contracting, M&A and joint ventures, fintech, data privacy and cybersecurity.
Adrian Fisher, Niranjan Arasaratnam
‘The team has an in-depth knowledge of the TMT space, and provide us with commercial legal advice and excellent drafting support. Linklaters also has specialists in other areas (e.g. regulatory, capital markets), which the TMT team is able to engage to provide seamless support on matters.’
‘Linklaters’ team has a good knowledge of the fintech industry and technology-related matters.’
‘Adrian Fisher is a new partner who is commercial, hands on and practical in devising solutions.’
‘Adrian Fisher has a very good knowledge of the industry and the commercial arrangements.’
‘Adrian Fisher and his team provide excellent client service and advice. He is responsive, and his knowledge in the digital health space is unique. The team also make every effort to understand the clients’ business and drivers; their quality advice is easily translated into immediate action’.
Hutchison Asia Telecommunications
PT Astra International Tbk
- Advised Hutchison Telecommunications on the merger of its mobile operations in Sri Lanka with Etisalat.
- Advised PT Astra International Tbk, one of Indonesia’s largest listed companies, on a fintech joint venture with WeLab for the provision of peer-to-peer loans and consumer credit scoring services in Indonesia.
Morrison & Foerster (Singapore) LLP acts for clients including Chubb Insurance, SoftBank and Axiata Digital Services on a range of TMT-related M&A and corporate venture capital transactions, fintech and contentious matters. As head of practice and a specialist in the insurance, technology and telecoms sectors, Jake Robson advises on cross-border acquisitions, disposals and joint venture arrangements, as well as venture capital investments and regulatory matters across South-East Asia. Jason Nelms relocated to the Singapore office from Hong Kong in May 2019, further expanding the team's expertise in early-stage and late-stage venture capital transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Axiata Group Berhad
Axiata Digital Services
Big Pay Ltd.
- Advised Chubb Asia Pacific on an innovative regional contractual distribution joint venture with Grab.
- Assisted Hong Kong-based financial services and technology company Oriente with the funding, development launch and roll out of a cutting-edge financial services infrastructure for people and small businesses across South-East Asia.
- Advising BigPay Pte Ltd. on the development and roll out of its South-East Asia pre-paid card and mobile wallet.
Clifford Chance's practice is led by Luke Grubb, who also chairs the firm's Asia Pacific technology group. His practice extends to all forms of complex and cross-border technology matters, including outsourcing, payments and fintech, commercial contracts, cloud computing, content licensing and distribution, data privacy and cybersecurity. Lena Ng and Satbir Walia are the other key contacts.
- Assisting a large Chinese technology and social media company with the legal and regulatory issues relating to its proposed activities, initiatives and partnerships in Singapore (where the company is registered) as well as in over 60 other jurisdictions.
- Advising Sime Darby on the disposal of its captive information technology and business process outsourcing shared-services division to global IT services provider, DXC Technology, and on negotiating a long-term outsourcing arrangement with DXC.
- Advised a leading Malaysian Satellite and Pay TV Company on the renegotiation of its critical customer relationship management outsourcing and transition to a cloud-based technology solution.